CyberFirst is a Government funded UK wide programme designed to inspire and nurture talented young people from all backgrounds into further study and a career in cyber security. Set up and led by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC – a part of GCHQ), in recent years it has provided tens of thousands of youngsters with the opportunity to improve their understanding of cyber security and how it can benefit them in a wide variety of career settings – in cyber and beyond.
Offering SQA certified free courses and a nationwide girls competition, CyberFirst is helping to build an impressive pipeline of young talent into further study and cyber security careers. This is clearly demonstrated by the 900 plus students having graduated or currently on the CyberFirst Bursary scheme. These talented university students have all undergone a rigorous assessment and are Security Checked in order to receive a Bursary of £4k/annum and paid training and development work with industry and government each summer.
All these activities rely upon the NCSC, the Scottish government, other government agencies and wider industry coming together and maximising the resources we have in order to develop the cyber security workforce of tomorrow. There are already a number of Scottish companies that have joined the CyberFirst community and continue to play an important part in developing home grown talent. Just as importantly, they are showing these young students that opportunities exist on their doorstep and they don’t need to leave Scotland in order to pursue an exciting and well-paid career in cyber security. That’s important because it adds to the growing reputation of Scotland as a safe place to live and do business online.
There are many ways organisations can contribute to CyberFirst; providing inspirational speakers for our courses; helping to write challenges for the girls’ competition; or hosting an NCSC funded Bursary student for a summer placement. If you feel your organisation would like to join the 150 plus organisations that make up the CyberFirst community, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for more information.
Alternatively log in to a joint session with Morgan Stanley, the Nat West Group and the CyberFirst team as part of Cyber Scotland Week on Thursday 25th February 2020.